As a first-time-mom, the art of breastfeeding was beyond me. That squiggly, slippery, pink thing that they handed me in the hospital didn't know how to do it yet, either. Fortunately, someone in the room did: the lactation consultant. Indeed, asking for help nursing can be the key to making it work. And, as she recently shared with PureWow, Mindy Kaling's advice for breastfeeding moms is just that: ask for help when you need it. And, TBH, she couldn't be any more on point. Because breastfeeding is hard, you guys, and there is no shame in letting the experts do their jobs.
Kaling welcomed her daughter Katherine Swati back in December 2017, as Us Weekly reported, and has been sharing wonderful little nuggets of motherly wisdom ever since. From becoming her baby's personal chef — Katherine eats food that is "basically just heated up ingredients," she told HuffPost — to the perks of having a child later in life, Kaling has been an open book of a mother.
Most recently, she shared her struggles to nurse Katherine in the early days and what helped her the most. “I found breastfeeding challenging to get the hang of in the beginning,” she told PureWow. “And I actually hired a woman who came over to my house, who’s like the lady in Los Angeles who teaches women how to breastfeed, and she came over and gave me a lesson. So, I really asked for help which was key for me.”
There are a variety of experts who can aid you on your breastfeeding journey, but a good place to start is your primary health care provider, according to March of Dimes. From there, you can be connected to a lactation consultant, a someone who has specialized training in breastfeeding. Or a breastfeeding peer counselor, a woman who has breastfed her own children and shares her advice with other moms. Or a breastfeeding support group, a group of women who discuss breastfeeding successes and struggles, share stories, and support one another.
Along with getting help nursing her baby directly, Kaling also told PureWow that she preferred the breast pump supplied by her hospital to the trendier ones she was given as gifts. "The thing that helped me the most was the unsexy pump that I got from the hospital. I just rented it for a couple of months and then returned it and said goodbye to it at the end," she told PureWow.
Hospital grade breast pumps are famously amazing and many women opt to rent one either from the hospital as Kaling did, or through one of the many pump rental companies available, according to The Bump. Breast pumps can be pricey — with prices ranging from $250 to $350 — according to Parents, so if you are only planning to use it for a short period of time, like it sounds like Kaling did, renting may be a smarter option.
Bottom line, mamas: if Mindy Kaling — actress, writer, executive producer, and all-around superstar — can ask for help with her breastfeeding struggles, then you can, too. And there's nothing wrong with forgoing flashy supplies in favor of the basic, reliable versions. Thanks for always keeping it really, Kelly — I mean, Mindy.